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Soil Conservationist

Company Name:
Department Of Agriculture
US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required. Permanent Full-Time USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps America's farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation's soil, water, air and other natural resources. We need people who want to apply their education and experience to make sure we all enjoy the benefits of productive soil, clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife that come from a healthy environment. "Helping People Help the Land" This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on NRCS-14-0028-MP-PT; Disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities can apply to the Merit Promotion announcement if they meet criteria for the above and include supporting documents. USCITIZEN SSR PROBATION US Citizenship is required. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. A 1-year probationary period is required.
Provides technical assistance in the development, application and maintenance of planned conversation systems.
Collects natural resource data to assist the District Conservationist in development of conservation plans.
Preparation, development and delivery of informational materials related to conservation methods, measures and techniques.
Provides technical guidance and assistance to customers pertaining to available NRCS services and/or programs.
You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. OR a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration.
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: . All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly.
If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. Click this link for more information.
A valid state motor vehicle license will be required for operation of a government-owned motor vehicle as an incidental driver.
Applicants must wait at least 90 days after a non-temporary competitive appointment before they can be promoted, transferred, reinstated, reassigned, or detailed to a different position and/or different geographical area.
Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the Department of Agriculture requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation for Suitability as a condition of placement in this Non-Sensitive level position. This review includes financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs. Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Managements (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants' quality of experience and the extent they possess the following competencies:
Conservation Planning
Oral Communication
Written Communication
Attention to Detail
Interpersonal Skills
Customer Service; and Representing the Agency.
Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of the evaluation criteria.
Well Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
Qualified: Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.
The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interviews. Your ratings in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject to evaluation and verification based on the documents and references you submit. Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to verify your ratings. Attempts to falsify information; inflate your qualifications or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may be grounds to adjust your rating or to not select you. Errors, omissions or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may affect your eligibility. If selected providing inaccurate information on federal documents could also be grounds for dismissing you from the position/agency. Please follow all instructions carefully.
To view the application form, visit: All applicants must meet all qualifications such as the education requirement and the specialized experience requirements listed below by the closing date of the announcement.
Basic Education Requirement
A. A degree in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. The study must have included 30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science. OR
B. Combination of Experience and Education: At least 30 semester hours in one or more of the disciplines as shown in A above, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science, plus appropriate experience or additional education equivalent to a 4-year degree. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science.
Evaluation of Education: Education that provided specializaed knowledge and skills in soil and water conservation is more valuable than education that imparted broad but general knowledge and skills. Courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, soil genesis, plant physiology, plant science, and field crops are examples of specialized courses that contibute toward meeting the required 12 semester hours as described above. Courses in the physical sciences or engineering such as geology, civil engineering, and hydrology also meet the soils, crops, or plant science course requirements where such courses included a complete introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils.
Evaluation of Experience: Experience that included application of techniques, principles, and methods from a variety of agricultural and natural resource fields is appropriate, given the interdisciplinary character of the soil conservation program. For example, experience gained in a specialized field such as soil science, forestry, or agronomy is a fully acceptable as experience directly obtained in soil conservation work.
SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE
For the GS-05 level: To qualify for this GS-5 position you must meet the basic education requirements for this series which requires a degree in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. The study must have included 30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science.
For the GS-07 Level: To qualify for the GS-07 level, you must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-05 level in the federal Service which is in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience is defined as experience in the application of soil, water and resource conservation measures. Examples of this ecperience may have included:
1) Working with landowners and operators, individually and in groups, to develop conventional conservation plans; AND /OR
2) Assisting land users with application and follow-up when needed to implement conservation measures; OR
Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience: One year, or 18 semester hours, of graduate level education, from an accredited college or university in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education or agricultural engineering;
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OR_
Superior Academic Achievement (SAA): APPLICABLE FOR CONSIDERATION AT GS-7 LEVEL ONLY!! DOES NOT APPLY FOR GS-9 LEVEL. This provision is applicable to persons who have completed all the requirements for a bachelors degree in soil science, natural resources, range management or related field and meet the educational requirements listed above. To qualify for the GS-7 based on SAA you must meet one of the following: 3.0 average (on a scale of 4.0) based on the average of all completed college courses at the time of application or courses completed during the final 2 years of undergraduate curriculum, OR 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 based on the average of all completed courses in major field of study at the time of application or of all such courses completed the final 2 years of the undergraduate curriculum, OR Class standing: applicant must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses, OR Election to membership in the national scholastic honor society. More on SAA: .
For the GS-09 Level: To qualify for the GS-09 level, you must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level in the federal Service which is in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience is defined as experience in the application of soil, water and resource conservation measures. Examples of this experience may include:
1)Interpretation of land use potential and deficiencies to advise of sound resource management principles. AND/OR
2)Working with conservation measures such as irrigation systems, conservation cropping systems, irrigation water management and agricultural waste management facilities
OR
Substitution of education in lieu of specialized experience: A masters degree, or possess two years or 36 semester hours of progressively higher graduate education leading to a Master's degree, from an accredited college or university in soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education or agricultural engineering
Time-in-Grade: Applicants must meet one year at the next lower grade_(Example GS-4 for GS-5, GS-5 for GS-6, and GS-7 for GS-8)_ to be considered for this position. For more information on the qualifications for this position, click here: /
Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.
You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at . It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2 : Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application" to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX)
You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience and/or if you are using education to meet the criteria for the quality category. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
If claiming Veterans Preference, a DD-214, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions or active duty service members may submit a certification document in lieu of the DD-214 that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or releases for active duty service under honorable conditions not later that 120 days after the date of the submission of the certification. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within the last 120 days.
Other required documents may include:
CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.
NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate. The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: /
This position may be filled at the GS-5, GS-7, or GS-9 to the next higher grade may occur without further competition once all legal and regulatory requirements are met to include supervisor's recommendation for promotion and management's certification of the continuing need for performance of duties at the higher grade level.Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPMs Career Transition Resources website at
Direct Deposit - Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.

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